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In surprising move, ACLU defends student suspended for flying confederate flag

Veid's truck with the flag attached
Veid's truck with the flag attached

Gregory Veid was suspended from school because he refused to remove a Confederate flag from his truck that was parked on school grounds, and the American Civil Liberties Union is defending his choice.

The 17-year-old student refused to remove the flag from the top of his truck despite repeated warnings from school officials at Steinert High School in Hamilton Township, NJ. Vied said that he sees it as a representation of his southern heritage and not racism, as school officials were trying to portray.

"Them trying to make me take it down is unconstitutional," Vied said.

Surprisingly, the ACLU agrees with Veid and came to his aid on the matter and said that Veid’s right to freedom of expression can’t be limited just because other teachers and students are complaining about it. "As the U.S. Supreme Court has made clear, students' rights don't end at the school house gates," ACLU Legal Director Ed Barocas said. "It also doesn't end in the school parking lot."

To show their support for the young man, friends of his have also come to school flying the flag on their vehicles and not one of them has been suspended. Veid, however, initially was suspended for three days. Fortunately for him the ACLU sent a letter to the school demanding to know the reason and saying that school officials have to prove that his actions “materially and substantially” disrupted operations at the school, causing officials to drop the suspension from three days down to one.

Vied says he's looking out for others who choose to express themselves. "I just want him not to do this to anybody else. Because you can't just trample on somebody's first amendment rights, or any of their rights." Not surprisingly, the principal of the school refused to comment on the matter citing privacy concerns.

Do you think he should have been suspended for flying a flag that represents his heritage? Let me know with a comment, I love to read them!

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